Flat Roof vs. Pitched Roof: Which is Better For Commercial Buildings?

When constructing a new commercial building, one of the most important decisions you have to make is what type of roofing system to use: flat or pitched. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before choosing which is best for your particular project.

 

PROS OF A PITCHED ROOF

Unparalleled Durability & Longevity: Slope Roofs Outlast Flat Ones!

One of the biggest advantages of pitched roofs is that their sloped design makes them incredibly durable. This allows them to easily shed rain and snow, reducing the chances of leakage and structural damage. Pitched roofs also tend to have longer lifespans than flat roofs. This longer lifespan can be beneficial for commercial buildings, especially if you plan on keeping the building in use for a long time.

Aesthetically Pleasing: A Classic Choice That Enhances Building Value

Another advantage of a pitched roof is that they are more visually appealing than flat roofs. This can be an important factor if you plan on selling or leasing the building in the future, as having a well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing roof can increase building value.

The clean lines and traditional style can really enhance your building’s curb appeal and make it stand out from other structures in the area. It’s also easy to customize with different colors, materials, and features like dormers or skylights.

Low Maintenance: Protects the Building Without Intensive Upkeep

Pitched roofs also require less maintenance than flat roofs, as their sloped nature naturally helps water and debris to run off the roof instead of pooling up on top. This can save you a significant amount in upkeep over time, as repairs or cleaning are needed less frequently.

 

CONS OF A PITCHED ROOF

Although pitched roofs can provide better protection from the weather, they come with their own set of cons that should be considered before installation.

Costly Installation: Budget-Friendly Options May Not Be Available

The primary downside of a pitched roof is that they tend to be more expensive than flat roofs. This may not be suitable for budget-conscious businesses, as the installation costs tend to be higher as it needs more materials and labor to construct.

Difficult Accessibility: Installing a Ladder Can Be Difficult

A pitched roof can also be difficult to access for cleaning or repairs. Depending on the height of your building, it may require a ladder to reach the roof surface. This can be tricky depending on the layout and design of the building and may require additional safety measures like scaffolding or rope access.

Limited Space: Uneven Footprint Can Restrict Building Design

Another disadvantage of pitched roofs is that they can restrict building design due to their uneven footprint. This is because the sloped shape takes up more space than a flat roof, so you may have to sacrifice usable interior space if you choose this option. Also, any additional features like dormers or skylights will require even more space, so consider this before making a decision.

 

PROS OF A FLAT ROOF

Cost-Effective: Budget-Friendly Installation & Maintenance

Flat roofs tend to cost less than pitched roofs in terms of installation and maintenance. They are much simpler to install than pitched roofs since fewer materials are needed, which translates into lower initial installation costs. Additionally, they require less time spent making repairs or conducting maintenance because fewer parts are involved in their design (the roof itself is essentially just one large plane).

This can be a big advantage for businesses on a tight budget, as it can help you save money without sacrificing the integrity of your roof.

Easy Accessibility: Reachable Without the Need for a Ladder

Flat roofs provide easy and unobstructed access to the roof surface, which makes them easier to clean and repair. This eliminates the need for a ladder or scaffolding. You can simply walk on top of the roof to perform necessary maintenance, making it a much safer and more efficient process.

Ample Space: Even Footprint Offers More Usable Interior Space

Flat roofs have an even footprint, which means they don’t take up as much space as pitched roofs. This leaves more room for building design and usable interior space, as there are no sloped areas to take up valuable square footage. Additionally, flat roofs can accommodate features like solar panels, rooftop gardens, or patios if desired.

 

CONS OF A FLAT ROOF 

Despite the advantages of flat roofs, you should keep some potential drawbacks in mind.

Limited Protection: Over Time, the Roof May Suffer From Water Damage

Flat roofs offer less protection than pitched roofs since they don’t have a sloped surface to help water and debris run-off. This can result in standing water on the roof, which causes wear and tears over time and can potentially lead to leaks or other forms of damage. To combat this problem, you should consider investing in additional waterproofing solutions like membranes or sealants.

Higher Maintenance: Requires More Frequent Repairs & Cleaning

Due to their lack of protection from the elements, flat roofs require more frequent cleaning and maintenance than pitched roofs. This means that you will need to invest more time and money into upkeep to ensure that your roof remains in good condition. It’s important to check for signs of wear and tear regularly, as this will help you catch any potential problems before they become bigger.


As you can see, both pitched, and flat roofs have their own pros and cons. Ultimately, the choice between them will come down to your budget, building design, and personal preference. Consider all the factors involved to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.


Unsure of what type of roofing is ideal for your commercial property? Reach out to the commercial roofing professionals at Eskola Roofing and get the best advice available. We have five decades of experience in this industry and are here to provide you with top-notch customer service and stellar workmanship. Our 24/7 emergency repair services guarantee that your building will remain safe no matter what! Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate.

We look forward to hearing from you!